Active 8: Keep on Moving

Activ8: Keep on moving conference, the culmination of our 18-month Care about Physical Activity improvement programme (CAPA), was a huge success attracting around 300 social health and care providers and other professionals to promote more movement for older people experiencing care.

It was an exciting, high-energy day with inspirational guest speakers from around the world including New Zealand Woman of the Year, Billie Jordan, who wowed the room when she told her story of the making of the Hip-Operation dance crew, which boasts the oldest dance troupe members in the world.

Dieneke Smit from the Netherlands spoke of how, based on her grandfather’s experience that a care environment could make or break someone with dementia, she got inspired to create a different style of care facility for people, with her father. A few years back they opened their small-scale care farm for people with dementia. ‘De Reighershoeve’ has 27 residents with dementia. Today, day care is also provided. They take a positive risk approach and say ‘yes’ when a person wants to do something or achieve something, then make it happen.

Next, Dr Sabina Brennan, expert in brain health spoke about how important it is to stay active and to challenge and exercise your brain to improve cognitive function. She also spoke of the empowering culture she has observed during the CAPA programme, emphasising the importance of collective leadership before artist, Stephen Deazley, launched an ‘on-the-spot’ instant choir which boosted energy levels and got everyone up on their feet – a fitting bit of CAPA movement and collaboration to conclude a packed morning.


During lunchtime, delegates took full opportunity of our ‘Keep on moving’ stations in the foyer area. Each station promoted movement and demonstrated that by introducing these activities in care services, older adults’ health, strength and mobility can and will improve over time.

We had:
• Table tennis (courtesy of Table Tennis Scotland)
• Adapted bikes (supplied by Live Active Leisure)
• Floor pedals (from Parkdale Care Home)
• Sit to stand and balance challenges
• Functional fitness – to help increase physical activity, strength, balance and coordination (delivered by Later Life Training)
• Smoothie bike (Sustrans) where people cycled their way to produce their own nutritious smoothie!

After lunch, we ran four workshops providing a good variety of interesting topics with something for everyone.

Billie Jordan: ‘Caterpillars to butterflies’ to learn how to transform the lives of older adults so that their lives are fun and fulfilling.

Sabina Brennan: ‘Promoting brain health in care settings’

Dieneke Smit: ‘Yes of course! How to adopt this philosophy in care homes.’

Bob Laventure: ‘Having a good conversation.’

The workshops were followed by the Activ8 Awards (a first for the Care Inspectorate) showcasing and celebrating five of the many innovative and transformational stories which have really made a difference to people’s lives during the course of the CAPA programme.

Our winners

1. Opportunities to move more (individual) Parksprings Care Home, Motherwell
2. Opportunities to move more (group) Ochil Care Home, Perth
3. Culture and team – Cordia (care at home) Glasgow
4. Community Connections – Beechwood Care Home, Wishaw
5. Intergenerational – Dalmellington Care Home, Ayr

After the awards, attendees were encouraged to get up on their feet to share the moment and take part in our CAPA dance – a film shot over several months starring care service staff who attended our learning events and people experiencing care from services across the country.

Edith Macintosh, Head of Improvement Support and CAPA Programme Lead closed the day encouraging people to think about the ‘So what?’ question. The day was all about encouraging people think about the potential everyone has to live life to the full – especially when it is thought impossible. She asked the audience what they were going to do with this. What now? She urged everyone to make a pledge to take CAPA back to their services, to think about what’s next and what everyone needs to do to keep the programme’s principles alive and the momentum going.

On the day we were delighted that Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing announced over £700K additional funding from the Scottish Government’s Active Division, to expand and embed the CAPA programme for another 18 months to support older people in even more care homes and care at home settings across Scotland. The programme will run from the end of November until the end of May 2020. More information about how the next phase of the programme will shape up will be announced soon.